SASHA

I remember my dress.

I remember the layout of the house. 

I remember his hand sliding between my legs.

 

I was 3. 

 

I remember this game he would play

"you want this."

"no, no i don't. stop"

I would laugh because I laugh when I'm nervous and uncomfortable, often sending the wrong message.

 

I was 15.

 

I remember laying on the floor. 

I remember my limp body as he penetrated with each thrust

calling me Russia.

 

I was 16.

 

I drank too much at a party one night. 

I don't know who dragged me into a room but I remember clothes being taken off as I stumbled

trying to find my grounding. 

Hands sliding all over my body as he quickly tried to get down to it, before someone would catch him.

I remember feeling violated. 

Someone walked in. 

 

I was 19. 

 

"Just touch it," he said.

"No. What the f***."

"Well, you do this for everyone else."

"NO! I don't!"

"Either pleasure me or get the f*** out."

 

I was 20.

 

My life was taken from me at the age of 3. Every action, decision, and void-filling behaviour I did was because of a choice a man made. 

Sexual partners continued filling a void. 

drugs.

Eating disorders.

Suicide attempts. 

 

Because men felt the need to feel power. Power over a limp body. Power to get their needs met.

 

I started to connect the dots between my actions and behaviours as I grew older and got involved in social work. I volunteered with sex workers to hear their stories and knew how easily I could have ended up right there beside them. I always wanted more for my life, a family, a loving partner. But each destructive behaviour I had seemed to always ruin everything. I got married to a man who treated me poorly. I had a daughter. And then I got divorced. 

 

My daughter saved my life. 

 

That's when things started to change and i started to understand my self-worth. I started to work through my issues and I became a survivor and not a victim. I knew that i never wanted my daughter to experience what i went through and that i would do everything in my power to ensure she grew up in a functional home. A home where she witnessed her mom being treated correctly. A home where she was safe and never got violated. A home where she could be a kid. 

 

My childhood was taken from me. Not just because of the sexual assault. My mother was a survivor as well and she did her best to protect her kids. But a lot of what happened was because of what she went through and wanted to fight or avoid because of it. I was following her footsteps not knowingly or blindly. We are influenced greatly by our mothers and I knew that I needed to influence my daughter sooner rather than later. 

 

I now have a voice. 

Everyone deserves a voice.